Holiday Planning – Top 6 Budget Friendly Travel Tips
Holidays – the word is ingrained in my mind since childhood and has always sounded like music to my ears. I have fond memories of summer holidays as a kid, those were times of great excitement, you would have just turned your back on boring examinations and would be rearing to go on a holiday.
Travel is something that has been a part and parcel of my life from early years. But I learnt the word, “itinerary”, even before I learnt the word travel. It so happened that once I saw my dad sitting seriously at his desk and writing something on a pad with tremendous concentration. I asked him what he was doing. “I am drawing up the itinerary for our upcoming summer holiday”, he said. I, all of 4 years twisted the word a couple of times around my tongue and loved the sound of it, I still do!
“Itinry”, I repeated, my child’s mind like the sound of the word though not able to pronounce it properly. What does that mean? I asked fascinated by this new addition to my meager vocabulary. My dad patiently explained that it meant, planning where to go, how to go, when to go, etc., in as simple terms as he could so that a child could grasp the meaning.That encounter with a big word for a small kid remained etched in my mind. It was much later that I understood the full meaning of this term as well as the importance of planning.
So, I know how important it is to be organized and plan a holiday to ensure the entire experience is hassle free. Today with the explosion of technology, the growth of the internet and the boom of social media, planning a holiday is much easier than what it must have been years ago when there was no internet. I can imagine how difficult it must have been for my dad to prepare the “itinerary”, that he was preparing when I first heard the word. I cannot even imagine the world without a Google search! It is so easy to find information now, how difficult it must have been in those days! These days, travel inspiration and information are something which is so easily accessible. Travel Blogs pack in a lot of information as well as share personal experiences of the travelers. One of the articles about planning for a holiday which has inspired me is posted on the Edelweiss site.
Moving on, what’s to be done and what’s to be left to your impulse (I mean, what’s a holiday if you cannot move a bit out of your comfort zone, right?)
Holiday Planning Tips
Holiday Planning Tip #1 – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
As clichéd as this sounds, it is absolutely true when it comes to planning for the holiday. You do not want to land up at a destination and find out that all the hotels are booked because of an important convention happening there, do you? Or worse still, end up paying a huge amount for your airfare because you did not book in advance! So ensure you have proper planning for holiday.
Holiday Planning Tip #2 – Book well in Advance
Plan well ahead of time and book your air or bus or train tickets as early as possible. This not only ensures that your to and fro logistics are finalized, but it also results in cost savings as the rates tend to increase the nearer you get to your departure date. Book your hotels also in advance to take advantage of better rates.
Holiday Planning Tip #3 – Look out for Deals and Discounts
Traveling is an expensive proposition and hence holiday expense planning is very important to optimize travel costs. Always be on the lookout for deals and discounts. Try to plan your holiday when airfares are at the cheapest. One can use various websites to help find the cheapest time to travel as well as the cheapest options. Avail of hotels deals and discounts, there are many out there and optimize your travel costs.
Holiday Planning Tip #4 – Factor in all conceivable expenses
While doing the holiday expense planning, make sure you factor in all expenses and provision for some contingency funds in the travel budget as well. A train missed could result in paying again for buying a ticket for the next train if the earlier ticket was not refundable. This will immediately add to your expenses as something you had not budgeted for. A medical emergency could drain you of your funds unless you had foreseen the eventuality and gone in for the right insurance. So the importance of holiday expense planning cannot be underscored.
Holiday Planning Tip #5 – Research the destination
Before you land at your destination, strive to know it like the back of your hand. It is not difficult with the wealth of information available on the internet. Look up Google street maps and become familiar with the lay of the land where you have planned to stay, this will stand you in good stead. Learn about the public transport systems, like the Metro or Bus and learn to use them. This would again help in minimizing your transport expenses at your destination.
Holiday Planning Tip #6 – Go for a Home to Home Plan
Proper planning for holiday will ensure that you have everything well laid out right from boarding the cab to the airport from your home to your return from the airport to your home. Try to plan and book everything that you can, including activities and attractions. Try to book skip the line tickets for places where you expect crowds, for example, it is smooth sailing if you have the skip the line tickets to the Vatican museums in Rome or the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Holiday planning is not something about which one can be casual about, it is something one should focus on and give its due importance. A well laid out holiday plan ensures that you devote the major part of your time to enjoying rather than worrying about the nitty gritty while traveling.
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